I’m still so floored by Tom Gabel coming out as a trans woman. Not because it affects me personally or changes my feelings on her music (it doesn’t), but because I’m awestruck at the courage and vulnerability she displayed by being so forthright about it.
Punk rock is this weird entity. I embraced it in my youth because it seemed the only avenue for misfits to take. And yet, as with any subculture, it can end up in the same trappings and social rules it (cl)aims to subvert. Every year as I get older I appreciate and undergo the struggle of what it means to be comfortable and proud of who you are. Identity politics are extremely complicated and hard won.
Visibility is a necessary precursor to any kind of social change. All anyone wants in life is to know that whatever struggles they are experiencing, they are not alone. I have nothing but the most profound respect and support for Laura Jane Grace. Her bravery and heart are an inspiration.
Those early Against Me shows are some of my favorite memories of a punk rock euphoria. I can’t wait to hear what comes next.